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Yankees 3, Red Sox 8: Brito’s blowup too much to overcome

Jhony Brito gave up four runs before recording his first out to set the tone for the rest of the game.

Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Anyone hoping to enjoy their Friday evening would’ve been better served reading the Oxford English Dictionary from cover to cover. At least you might’ve learned something new! Jhony Brito got demolished for seven runs in just over two innings while the Yankees offense continued their toils with mediocrity as they drop the series opener, 8-3.

The Yankees’ starting rotation woes reached a new low with Jhony Brito on the mound. Starting with his third pitch of the contest, he served up an Alex Verdugo double, Rafael Devers single, Justin Turner single, and Masataka Yoshida home run to put New York in a 4-0 hole before a single out had been recorded. Unfortunately, a Google search of “MLB mercy rule” did not return any favorable results so onward we continued.

Things didn’t let up in the second. Brito got a quick out and appeared to have another, but a soft groundball hit directly at Gleyber Torres somehow squirted past the second baseman for his MLB-leading 11th error at the position. There’s an adage that cautions against giving up free outs and we saw exactly why, with Brito giving up four straight singles following the Torres error to extend the Yankees’ deficit to 7-0.

After giving up a one-out double in the third, Boone had seen enough and went to Ian Hamilton, who struck out both batters faced to give the Yankees pitchers their first scoreless frame. There’s not much to say about Brito beyond the fact that he’s a Triple-A arm in way over his head as he’s been thrust into a major league rotation. He’s got decent raw stuff but with vanishingly small idea of where any of it is going, and that leads to a lot of misses in the danger zone, particularly with two strikes. His final line on the night: 2.1 innings, nine hits, seven runs (six earned), no walks, and one strikeout on 46 pitches.

It may have taken them four days and 21 innings, but the Yankees finally scored a run. And isn’t it fitting it should come in the most unimpressive manner, with Anthony Volpe leading off with a double, advancing to third on a grounder, and then scoring on ... another ground out. Volpe added his second hit of the day in the fifth — a single scorched to left — with both base knocks registering over 107 mph. He’s had his ups and downs, but the rookie shortstop is one of the few reasons to keep turning on Yankees games in the final month-and-a-half of the season.

Even in an overall abysmal team performance, there were still some bright spots to pick out. In addition to Volpe’s contributions, Hamilton was absolutely locked in on the mound, giving the Yankees 3.2 scoreless innings while allowing just one hit against five strikeouts. He has worked to incorporate a sinker of late and it creates excellent separation off his four-seamer. He now has three different ways to induce swings and misses, throwing the riding four-seamer at the top of the zone, the armside-running sinker in on righties, and the slambio diving beneath bats.

The impressive relief outings from the Yankees’ MLB-best bullpen (by ERA) continued with Keynan Middleton pitching a scoreless seventh and Greg Weissert a scoreless eighth. The only blemish on the bullpen’s card came in the ninth, with Verdugo doubling and Devers singling to make it 8-3 Boston.

Aaron Judge gave the 44,500+ poor saps who turned out to the Bronx something to cheer about in the eighth. After a DJ LeMahieu one-out single, Judge punched an opposite fly ball just over the wall in right for a short porch special to at least make this one more respectable, 7-3.

It was his 23rd of the season and fourth since returning from the IL. However, that was all they would manage, as despite a Torres single and Isiah Kiner-Falefa pinch-hit double to put runners on second and third with no outs in the ninth, the pair would remain stranded as New York droped the series opener, 8-3.

Another of the limited reasons to keep tuning in goes tomorrow, as Gerrit Cole looks to play the stopper yet again as well as further his AL Cy Young case. He faces Kutter Crawford with first pitch scheduled for 1:05 p.m. EDT, so be sure to join us in the game thread.

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